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The History of the Taxi Cab

Various forms of taxis have been around for many centuries. As far back as the early 17th century there were horse drawn cabs in London and Paris. The first known taxi service was in Paris in 1640 and only a few years later the Hackney Carriage Act was brought in to London to legislate and control horse drawn vehicles for hire.

In 1899 gas powered taxis started to appear in Paris and a couple of years later in London and then New York. The famous New York cabs were actually imported from France by Harry Allen, originally from the United Arab Emirates, who opted to pay his taxis yellow as this made them easy to spot from a distance. He actually invented the word taxicab as a shortening of “taximeter” with the obvious meaning and “cabriolet” meaning horse-drawn carriage.

The 20th century saw taxi cabs proliferate around the world and the taxi meter was invented to collect fares and two way radio receivers were installed into cabs so drivers could easily communicate with the main office and better serve customers and more efficiently. More recently in the last 20 or 30 years computerised systems have been integrated into the booking and dispatch system and of course in the last few years, satellite navigation systems mean taxi drivers no longer need to memorise hundreds of routes.

The taxi business is highly regulated and it is very difficult to get a motor car certified for use as a taxicab. In London there are very specific rules as well and these have been adopted by many other towns and UK cities. At one point this meant there was only one make of vehicle that could be used as a taxi.

In America, General Motors offers a special vehicle called “the General” and in the 1930’s the firm Checker started manufacturing only cabs, especially modified to carry “double-dates” and continued until the start of the 1980’s. Today in New York all taxicabs must be normal cars, usually long-wheel base versions of Ford Crown Victoria’s and Toyota mini-vans.

Taxis are vehicles available for private hire by one or more people and transport people from one location to another for a measured fare. There are four particular types of taxis. There are the famous Hackney Carriages which are the type of taxi cabs you flag down on the street and must be licenced. There are also private hire vehicles such as mini cabs which must be pre-booked and cannot simply be stopped on the street to give a paying passenger a lift. Taxibuses operate on pre-set routes with multiple stops and many independent passengers all travelling along the same route. And then there are limousines and other such specialised vehicles available for pre-booked hire, often for celebrations such as weddings and parties.

Stansted Expansion Would Require Whole New Town

Stansted airport, which was recently sold to and taken over by the Manchester Airport Group, after the monopoly commission deemed BAA in breach of competition rules by owning Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted airports, is one of the London based airports in the running to become SuperHub. Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, has included the smaller airport, mainly used for charter flights, in a £3 million study as to the feasibility of building a new massive airport to service London.

There are plans a foot to turn either Heathrow, Gatwick or Stansted airport into a new SuperHub for London. A study by the Independent Transport Commission has backed the plans and stated there should be 4 runways at the new SuperHub airport.

The commission ruled out the idea of connected Heathrow and Gatwick by a high speed rail link, which would cost billions but leaned more towards creating one massive airport with Heathrow currently favoured as the place with new runways being built to the west of the current location to reduce the noise impact on nearby towns.

The Think-Tank’s main concern was that if Stansted was to be developed into the SuperHub or in deed a whole new airport be built in the Thames Estuary, there would be a massive loss of jobs at Heathrow or Gatwick and also the cost of developing such a SuperHub would mean that passengers and airlines would be charged more than double what they would otherwise be at say Heathrow, give the enormous cost of building the place, which is estimated at a mind boggling £40 to £60 million.

And if a super-hub airport was to be constructed at Stansted, there would need to be a whole new town the size of Peterborough built to cope with the number of workers. There would need to be more homes, schools, a large investment in local infrastructure and such to support such a development.

But Boris Johnson is said to be very opposed to building more runways at Heathrow and a whole new airport would be very expensive, so Stanstead was seen as a compromise. Moving the main airport for London further away from the capital would also ensure that regeneration and benefits were expanded outside of the capital.

The main concern about expanding Heathrow is noise impact on the surrounding area but the Commission argued that planes are getting quieter and so the residents in the area would not be severely affected.

The Airports Commission is due to deliver an interim report on its findings once various papers have been submitted to it. The final report will be published in 2015.

When Chelmsford Became the Capital of England

It was 1381 and King Richard II was on the throne. But there was unrest in the country. The plague had wiped out thousands of young men in the 1350’s and left the country short of labour. Those left that were fit to work demanded better conditions and higher wages but the Statute of Labourers was brought in by the Government of Edward III to stop employers bending to these demands and enraged the peasantry. Another poll tax was introduced and the poor became further angered and started to resist tax collections and rebel. By the time the young Richard II took the throne, uprisings had started in a number of southern towns, with many believing that the teenage king was too young to rule properly and was being manipulated by a number of unpopular men.

In June 1381 a group of men marched on London and attacked several properties. King Richard II met the rebels and allegedly agreed to their demands and that he would not punish those that had taken part in the uprisings. However, the next day when the King met with one of the rebel leaders, the rebel ended up dead after apparently being rude and threatening to the King. King Richard revoked all promises made and captured and executed any rebels that were found.

London became a dangerous place and peasants began revolting across the south of England. King Richard II made the decision to move his court from London to Chelmsford, thus putting the small town on the map. He took up lodgings in a manor house in Writtle. For the 5 days from 1 July 1381 to 6th July, Chelmsford in effect became the capital of England and the seat of the country’s Government. Many of the deeds and declarations dispatched across the country to try and quell the unrest are dated and stamped as coming from Chelmsford.

Once the revolt was quashed and the threat was deemed to have passed, the King returned to London and Chelmsford’s role in this part of history is all but forgotten.

Over the centuries Chelmsford grew from a small market town into a more important agricultural and industrial centre. In the 19th century its population grew rapidly and its church was made into a Catherdral. The engineering industry grew but meant that the town was a target for German bombers in the second world war and Chelmsford suffered a number of heavy bombing raids. In 2012 Chelmsford became a city and now has a population of just over 100,000.

If you are interested in visiting and exploring Chelmsford and need taxis in Chelmsford then look up one of the many taxi companies in the area.

The Top 5 Attractions Around Chelmsford

Chelmsford was awarded city status in 2012 and has lots to offer visitors from the Cathedral to formal gardens, majestic old houses and parks to sports centres and zoos. Below are details of just a few of these attractions.

Chelmsford Cathedral is a 15th century building close to the centre of the city and surrounded by superb gardens. Inside it is beautiful and compact and there are small tours available and much recitals.

Hyde Hall is maintained by the Royal Horticultural Society and is open all year round. Its around 10 kilometres outside the city and has lots of exhibitions and events to keep all the family happy. Particularly popular are the regular farmers markets held in the gardens but is is a lovely place to stroll around, have a picnic or sport local wildlife like brown hares.

Tropical Wings World of Wildlife is around 5 miles outside the city and is set in acres of well laid out gardens and features one of the largest butterfly houses in England. As well as free-flying butterflies in the butterfly house there are many species of birds such as parrots, owls and other birds of prey and insects and other animals like monkeys, goats, meerkats and various reptiles. There are daily programmes to encourage interaction with the wildlife. There is also a children’s play area and a large indoor interactive centre called the Discovery Kingdom.

Hylands House and Park is set in 574 acres of parkland and offers the chance for visitors to wander around the woods, lakes, ponds and gardens. You can also stroll around the magnificently restored old house and see the grand staircase, banqueting room, butlers pantry and wine cellar. There is also a Social History room with various exhibits on display and the cafe in the old courtyard off refreshments.

For the younger generation maybe not so interested in history, there is the adventure castle play area with a four metre high replica castle complete with drawbridge entrance. The playground has also been designed with disabled children in mind to provide musical stimulation and a cradle swing.

As well as providing a great day out for children and adults alike, it is also a wonderful place to take your dog and once of the most dog friendly places to visit in the area. You can get food or go to the toilet without having to leave your dog unattended – just ring a bell and someone will come to take your food order or use the disabled loo so there is room for you and your dog.

Another more unusual place to visit in the vicinity of Chelmsford is the Rayleigh Windmill. It is a popular place for weddings but the Grade II listed building can also be visited by the public and you can see the museum, exhibitions and learn all about Rayleigh Mount close by.

Even without a car many of these sites can easily be accessed using public transport or one of the many Chelmsford Taxis.

Recommended Places to Eat in Chelmsford

Chelmsford offers loads of excellent and different places to eat. You can choose from typical American fare, Asian food, Bistro’s, French, Italian, Spanish or even Japanese and Thai. And there are of course plenty of good ‘old English pubs, fast food joint and pizza restaurants.
There are also a couple of good seafood restaurants such as Hoyzen Oriental Seafood Grill and Loch Fyne.

The Loch Fyne restaurant in Chelmsford is part of a growing chain and hails from the west coast of Scotland original but have now become famous all across the UK for their seafood restaurants. Much of the ingredients served in the restaurant in Chelmsford still come from the Loch and delivered fresh to the restaurant. You can sample special Loch oysters or choose a set menu at lunch time or in the evening or pick from the a la carte menu.
The Zenxi Chinese restaurant offers something a little different with live soul music every Sunday, where as the Everest Ghurka offers a change from Indian but still a spicy delight. Pinchos Tapas bar offers good atmosphere and good Spanish food and also offers live music some evenings.

Or there are speciality restaurants like the Empire Palace and Russells. Russells on Bell Street in Chelmsford offers English and French cuisine and is perfect for that special occasion. Prices might be a little on the steep side the decor and food makes up for that.

If you fancy afternoon tea and cake then the Paper Mill Lock restaurant at Little Baddow, near Chelmsford offers a vista overlooking the canal and boats and is a fantastic end to a walk along the waterway. Or the Little Cafe and Coffee shop in Chelmsford itself is also a good bet for a quick cup of tea or coffee and a slice of cake.

If you are considering a night out in Chelmsford and want to have a few drinks and so might need help from Chelmsford Taxis then there are a number of local firms that can help you.

Ryan Air Orders 175 Boeing Airplanes but Slashes Flights

April 2013

Following the recent acquisition of Stansted Airport by Manchester Airport Groups for £1.5 billion, Ryan Air said it planned to reduce the number of flights it operated out of Stansted by 9%.

Ryan Air currently accounts for around 70% of all flights to and from Stansted and this cut would mean over 170 flights a week would be axed. Ryan Air said it was because of increased fees being brought in at the airport and Ryan Air had already asked the Civil Aviation Authority to investigate the 6% rise. There would also be a large number of job losses associated with running less flights, estimated at around 1,100 in total. The airline site a drop in 6.5 million passengers over the last 6 years as one of the over-riding reasons for the reducing the number of weekly flights.

At the same time the new managing director of Stansted Airport said he was looking forward to working with Ryan Air but the airline feels that the surprise fee hikes were probably part of a sweetener package offered to the new owners of the airport as part of the acquisition deal. The increased airline fees had apparently been introduced by the former owners, Ferrovial/BAA, shortly before the take over by the Manchester group and were immediately rejected by Ryan Air, who have questioned Ferrovial’s ability to raise prices when it will no longer be running the airport. The former owners of the airport have refused to comment but the Civil Aviation Authority said that the decision to raise fees was taken well in advance of the take-over and within regulated time limits and it is for Ryan Air to challenger this if they feel the rises are unfair.

No official notification has yet been given to the workers’ union that there will be job losses or a reduction in flights and Unite, the union for the airport workers has said that this could just be a bulling tactic from a large employer and may never materialise.

Despite the airline causing a fuss about the price hikes, last month Ryan Air saw a record share price, the highest in 6 years. This followed the announcement that the company had agreed to buy 175 Boeing 737 aeroplanes in a staggering 12 billion Euro deal. This deal will be the largest ever made by an Irish firm and the largest order ever places by an airline.

There are possible plans to extend Stansted airport and make it into one of the main London airports. It is a great place to fly into and explore nearby historic towns and cities like Chelmsford. If you are flying into this airport and need Station Cars then try Chelmsford Taxi Service.

Stansted Airport To be Sold to Manchester Airport for £1.5 Billion

March 2013

Stansted airport is to be sold by Heathrow Airport Holdings to the company that owns Manchester Airport for 1.5 billion pounds. Heathrow Airport Holdings will continue to own Heathrow airport, Southampton airport and Glasgow and Aberdeen airports but was ordered to sell off Stansted airport by the Competition Commission.

Heathrow Airport Holdings is actually a consortium headed by the Spanish group Ferrovial and used to be known as BAA. Back in 2009, the Competition Commission ruled that there was a lack of competition between London’s airports, which were all owned by the same company and so both Gatwick and Stansted airports had to go to new ownership. at the time BAA had already begun the process if selling off Gatwick airport but wanted to keep Stansted airport and so started a legal appeal against the decision. However, this legal battle ended in August if 2012 with the Competition Commission upholding the original decision.

Heathrow and Gatwick of the UK’s busiest airports, followed by Manchester wit close to 19 million passengers passing through its doors each year and then Stansted is the fourth busiest with around 18 million passengers.
Now Stansted airport will be sold to the Manchester Airports Group, which is the holding company owned by 10 councils of the Greater Manchester area.

It was thought that there would not be a vast amount of interest in Stansted airport as 70% of its flights are with Ryan Air, the budget airline and this is likely to bring down the airport’s value. In the end there were 3 bids submitted, one by Australia’s Macquarie group, one by Malaysia Airports Holdings and the winning bid by Manchester Airports Group. Whilst it might seem a good move for the UK that British based company have bought the airport, the Manchester Airports Group is actually part owned by an Australian conglomerate which recently acquired a 35% share. However, this has given the group the financial power to out bid the other interested parties.

The Manchester Airports Group had bid unsuccessfully for Gatwick airport when that was being sold off.

Stansted airport is seen as the only real viable alternative to expanding Heathrow airport and could see it become the most important and largest airport in the UK. There are suggestions to build 3 more runways and turn it into a superb. Alternatively a new runway could be built at Stansted and another at Gatwick, thus meaning each London airport had 2 runways, instead of Heathrow gaining a further 2 runways to take the total to 4.

Now all three of London’s main airports will be owned by different companies, where as before BAA held all three.

For help travelling to Stanstead airport by taxi, consider giving Station Cars a call on 01245 616161.

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